The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse (2019-10-18)

Horror | Drama | Fantasy | Mystery |


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  • Status: Released
  • Runtime: 110m
  • Popularity: 40.882
  • Language: en
  • Budget: $0
  • Revenue: $11,873,695
  • Vote Average: 7.7
  • Vote Count: 650

  • msbreviews

    If you enjoy reading my Spoiler-Free reviews, please follow my blog @ I love weird movies. The seemingly awkward moments, the apparently nonsensical ambiguity, or simply the pure WTF sequences... All of these leave me deeply captivated by what the story and its filmmaker are trying to transmit to their viewers. The Lighthouse is the most recent addition to the group of psychological horror films that will make you think, "what the hell am I watching?" Nevertheless, this is one of the most accessible "weird flicks" since most of the story is easily explainable. Therefore, I hope this Robert Eggers' movie gets a successful home release. Usually, the general public heavily dislikes ambiguous films. Nowadays, people want everything at the palm of their hands before they even watch the movie (aka trailers). So, a film about two lighthouse keepers who go crazy, where dozens of scenes apparently make no sense (they do), can fail to catch the viewers' attention. However, it found mine. Filmed in black-and-white and with a 1.19:1 aspect ratio (almost squared), Eggers delivers a gorgeous-looking piece of cinema. People tend to (wrongly) associate the use of black-and-white with "old movies," but it's really just another color palette. For example, Blade Runner 2049 and Mad Max: Fury Road use the color yellow in such a beautiful, eyegasmic way. Color can affect us emotionally, psychologically, and even physically, often without us becoming aware. The Lighthouse's black-and-white establishes the film's mood from the very beginning. A very somber, sad, dark environment, filled with creepy seagulls, and brutal weather conditions. If I try to imagine the movie with color, it's not going to be very different from what it actually is. There's no sun, only tons of rain, wind, and waves. It's always cloudy, and inside the house, it's still dark and cold. So, even if Eggers decided to film with color, black, grey, and white would be the predominant tones either way. That's why the decision to make this film in black-and-white is so perfect. Every shot is dripping with visual beauty. Amazing wide shots of Robert Pattinson working like a slave, getting hit by the relentless weather, all accompanied by a haunting score which elevates every sequence. In my point of view, it's a story about how solitude can make anyone run away from reality. Lack of human contact never contributes to a good way of living. Imagining a better life or literally run away to a remote place with a non-stop job to make you forget who you are or what you did, are not going to help anyone overcome what is, in fact, a personal issue. It's a narrative given to many interpretations, so no one is right or wrong. Depending on our life experience and on our distinct personalities, each and every one of us can have a different perspective and understanding of what this movie tells through the Eggers brothers' brilliant screenplay. One thing is certain: Robert Pattinson and especially Willem Dafoe should be considered for the awards season. However, this film is too weird and ominous to be awarded any nominations, unfortunately. Dafoe is 64-years-old, and he crawls on the muddy ground, he gets hit with rain and literal sh*t in the face, besides delivering a versatile performance. Both he and Pattinson offer a dynamic range of acting, going from absurdly hilarious to intensely dramatic displays. It's probably Pattinson's best performance to date, but Dafoe shines as a crazy old ex-sailor. Their accents are perfect, and Dafoe's ability to "sing" complex (linguistically speaking) sea poems for whole uncut takes is worthy of every single Oscar. That's something I wasn't expecting: there's a lot of long takes that become even more impressive due to the actors' undeniable talent. It's been a long time since I had to read subtitles to actually understand what the characters were saying, especially Dafoe. Besides the strong accents, the dialogues are extraordinarily intricate and wordy, which definitely captures my attention since I have to be twice as focused. Incredible cinematography, great editing, and a subtle but powerful score. It's a shame if people ignore this movie's existence. It's not getting released in my country, so I'll try my best to make people see it. Unfortunately, it's being ignored by every major award ceremony, which is pretty unfair, having in mind it's one of the best films of 2019. I don't have a single issue with it. Some people might not enjoy its ambiguity or its slow pacing. Still, I genuinely love how everything falls into place, culminating in a shocking, suspenseful, and tense third act that makes the massive build-up worthy of merit. All in all, The Lighthouse is one of my favorite movies of 2019. It's definitely going into my Top10, and way up there. Filmed in beautiful black-and-white with a claustrophobic aspect ratio, Robert Eggers delivers a story about loneliness and isolation that takes the weirdest, craziest route. It's one of those WTF films that will leave everyone thinking about it. I love its ambiguity, even if most of its story is pretty accessible. Packed with suspense and tension, mostly due to the excellent cinematography and the brilliant decision to use black-and-white to set the dark, cold environment. Robert Pattinson delivers his career-best performance, but Willem Dafoe steals the spotlight with an Oscar-worthy crazy display that will be ignored due to the known genre bias. It's tear-inducing hilarious at times, but powerfully dramatic as well. I have not a single complaint, and I love it more the more I think about it. Please, watch this at home if you get a chance. Don't miss it! Rating: A+

  • Matthew Brady

    “𝐾𝑒𝑒𝑝𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑒𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑠, 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑦𝑒?” Time to spill the beans…’The Lighthouse’ is a masterpiece! I loved loved loved loved it! I loved every minute of it. One of my favorite movies of 2019 and I honestly don’t think anything can top it. A slow descent into madness that creeps into your subconscious and won’t be leaving anytime soon. From the very first frame, I immediately knew this was going to be special. I was hooked throughout until the end credits. Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson both deliver career defining performances. They play off each others insanity beautifully. I could tell just from the accents and dialect that plenty of homework went into making an authentic portrayal of the time. Robert Pattinson is fantastic as a quiet and private lighthouse keeper that witness the madness slowly unfolding, but also feeds the audiences curiosity on revealing the strange happenings on the island. Pattinson is a chameleon when it comes to portraying characters. Willem Dafoe, on the other hand, was mesmerizing as the old sea dog captain with a love for farting. His long and insane monologues are the main highlights, because it was so electrifying to watch it was hard not be captivated. He’s strict and often unpredictable, but once you see it, you won’t forget it. I hope Robert Eggers continues making horror movies in the future, because right now he’s one of the best living directors working today. The slow-burn tension and lack of conventional scares seems to be his trademark so far. Every choice he made was so carefully thought out and the results is masterful. According to Eggers, they actually built a lighthouse from scratch and everything we see, including the weather, is genuine. Even if some tricky was used, it was so seamless I couldn’t tell what was fake. I loved how the movie was shot; the dim black-and-white with the claustrophobic aspect ratio, giving it the appearance of a silent film born like a German expressionism - something you would’ve mistaken for a 1920/30’s horror folklore. Perfectly captures the time period and the overall dread. You really do feel cut off from the outside world and abandoned on this spectral-like island, and this black sheet of cloud strongly looming over the two men. A dark force in all directions, unseen but very eerie. The cold and heartless weather is a character itself. A big bully with salty intentions. I adored the use of lighting through out, as the only light source is either natural light during daytime or candle lit lanterns, which cast many shadows that adds to the unease. There’s some gorgeous looking cinematography on display here. Seriously, even as am writing this right now I can memorize every single frame of this strange nightmare of a film. Absolutely breathtaking. While the movie is mainly horror, but there is comedy sprinkled throughout that was actually pretty hilarious. Everything from Dafoe farting and some creative insults the characters would often spit at each other, which would later expand into long monologues that I sat back and watch in awe with a stupid grin on my face, because how something so silly can be so poetic. Never have I seen a movie that perfectly balances more than one genre so fluently. You can laugh at the moments where it’s suppose to be funny, but also take it seriously whenever it’s suppose to be taken seriously, which is sometimes all in one scene. The writing from Eggers is so excellent. After only one viewing there was a lot I could easily dissect in terms of interpretation. There's masculinity and Greek mythology imagery that demonstrates a striking sense of power. There’s also a certain idea of sexuality being a sacred thing and the frustration it may bring. Or maybe it’s just a simple story about two guys on a rock getting drunk and then getting even drunker while holding each other until they drift off to sleep. Overall rating: One of the best looking horror comedies of 2019.